I hate Valentine’s Day, and I’m glad we’ve been able to get that out of the way right from the first sentence. Perhaps it has a lot do with the fact I’ve spent every Valentine’s Day of my life as a single man, looking from the outside as love-struck couples exchange gifts and saliva in public glare. Maybe I’m just a hater who’ll be as annoyingly involved in the ritual of showing love to my partner when or if I somehow convince a woman to be my girlfriend. But as at the time of writing, I absolutely detest Valentine’s Day. Not to worry, however, I’m also someone who cares little about Christmas celebrations and has been labelled, slightly, unfairly, a ‘Grinch’ for not liking sweet baby Jesus’ birthday. This is all a roundabout way of saying I have no love lost for most public outpourings of excitement and happiness.
I spent last year’s Valentine’s Day drinking lots of alcohol and eating an unhealthy amount of fried chicken. It was a Sunday, and no, it wasn’t because I was lonely, instead, I was joyously celebrating Danny Welbeck’s late winner against Leicester and how I foolishly thought we were going to win the league. Drinking lots of alcohol and eating an unhealthy amount of fried chicken meant I had to go out and everyone knows finding a bar or restaurant to sit and have a good time is almost impossible on this dreaded day. There’s tongue tangling, handholding and whatever it is lovers do everywhere you turn, and that’s if you’re lucky enough to get a seat in what is most likely a crowded place. What is it about Valentine’s that makes people, in their thousands, to go out and be all lovey-dovey with their lovers when that is all they do almost everyday of the year anyway. Beyond lovers taking over almost every available hotspot of fun, it segues nicely into my next grievance about the oddity that is Valentine’s.
If it is agreed that most lovers spend other days not called Valentine’s loving themselves to within an inch of each other’s lives, why does there need to be a special day to mark the occasion? Why does love, care and affection have to be stage-managed into one day. It’s a day of “look at us, we’re desperately and hopelessly in love with each other. Now smile for the cameras, love, the Instagram photos won’t like themselves.”
It’s basically the same reason why I hate amusement parks and the concept of organised fun. “Have fun, here and now!”
As if Valentine’s isn’t horrible enough, the build-up to this absurdity is even more nausea inducing. Not only are there 24 hours set aside for organised love, the weeks leading up to it are filled with advertisements from soulless corporations desperately in need of flogging overpriced gifts in the markets. Everywhere you turn it’s a special Valentine’s Day-related promo or price deal. I hate it. The unnecessary pressure and importance the day also places on receiving gifts as a measure of your love also riles me up a lot.
You may have read the above and thought to yourself how miserable I am to detest what is essentially harmless, and maybe you’re right and I’m a miserable guy shorn of love but please hear me out. I have nothing against showing you love your partner(s), but that’s what anniversaries are for. The day you met, first kiss, first sex, got engaged, got married; whatever catches your fancy. But celebrating love because everyone else does on a certain date in February that has absolutely no connection to your personal love story? In the words of the great Uncle Joe Biden: “Give me a break, that’s a bunch of malarkey!”